July 18, 2019

What’s Happening: Yom Ha’atzmaut, ‘Fake News,’ Jews of China


Shabbat Around the World 
Celebrating Yom HaAtzmaut (Israel’s Independence Day), Shomrei Torah Synagogue brings Israel to its West Hills community. On Shabbat evening, the congregation embraces Israel’s rich heritage and culture with music, prayer, story and a community dinner. Cantor Jackie Rafii and musical guests Yoni Arbel and Jamie Papish participate. 6 p.m. Shabbat services, 7:15 p.m. dinner. Adult members, $30, $15 kids. $36 general adults, $18 kids. Shomrei Torah Synagogue, 7353 Valley Circle Blvd., West Hills. (818) 854-7650.

Happy 71st Birthday
Celebrating Israel’s Independence Day, Kol Tikvah organizes an event featuring dinner, fun activities for all ages, live music and Shabbat services. Rabbis Jon Hanish and Becky Hoffman, Cantor Noa Shaashua and rabbinic intern Esther Jilovsky lead the services. Guests are asked to bring a donation of cake mixes, frosting, cupcake tins or birthday candles, which will be delivered to the West Valley Food Pantry. Advance RSVP required. 5:15 p.m. Tot Shabbat service. 5:45 p.m. hosted dinner, with advance RSVP to dshayer@koltikvah.org. 5:45 p.m. Shabbat services followed by birthday cake and sweet treats. Kol Tikvah, 20400 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills. (818) 348-0670.

Noa Shaashua

YJP Dinner
Join 100 Young Jewish Professionals in welcoming the Shabbat with dinner and services in the company of ambitious, curious and career-focused Jews. They want to connect and network as much as you do. 6-11 p.m. $70-$90. Beverly Hills Synagogue, 9261 Alden Drive, Beverly Hills. (310) 692-490.

Rachel Grant Meyer

HIAS to the Rescue 
With a record 65 million refugees in the world, Rabbi Rachel Grant Meyer, Rabbi-in-Residence at HIAS, formerly the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, addresses the present refugee crises at America’s southern border and elsewhere. The motto of HIAS, founded in 1881 at the beginning of massive Jewish migration to the United States, is “Welcome the stranger. Protect the refugee.” Grant Meyer addresses what roles individual and groups of Jews are obligated to take toward resolving the crises. 5:45 p.m. pre-oneg. 6:15 p.m. Shabbat services. Dinner follows. 8 p.m. speaker. RSVP required for dinner. Temple Isaiah, 10345 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 277-2772. 


Shabbat in the Park Havdalah
Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills and PJ Library team up for a Shabbat in the Park Havdalah service, featuring fun and fulfillment for children and adults. The event blends story-time and singalong. Guests are encouraged to bring friends, families and a picnic for this outdoors Havdalah. 4:30-5:30 p.m. Beverly Canon Gardens, 241 N.  Canon Drive, Beverly Hills. (310) 288-3737.


Mother’s Day Remembrance Service
From generation to generation, a mother’s love is the greatest gift she can give her children. That is the theme of the community’s Mother’s Day remembrance service at Hillside Park and Mortuary. Rabbi Cantor Alison Wissot of Temple Judea, Cantor Linda Kates of Leo Baeck Temple, Cantor Patti Linsky and musical director Tali Tadmor lead services. In the spirit of tzedakah, guests are asked to bring canned and dry foods or eyeglasses or hearing aids for the Hillside Chesed Project. 10 a.m. Park hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary, 6001 W. Centinela Ave., Los Angeles. (310) 641-0707.  

Larry Mantle

Yom IYUN at Nessah
Since “fake” has become one of America’s favorite adjectives, Nessah Synagogue’s annual Yom Iyun or evening of learning is titled “Fake Truth & Virtual Living.” South African-born Rabbi Akiva Tatz and Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb, senior faculty member at Ohr Somayach in Jerusalem, identify the ubiquity of widespread fake accusations and then offer Torah solutions to current moral and social dilemmas. 6 p.m. reception. 6:30 p.m. mincha. 7:30 p.m. program. $10, $15 at the door. Students free. Nessah Synagogue, 142 S. Rexford Drive, Beverly Hills. (310) 273-2400.


Media Freedom in Danger?
Three experts address whether criticism of the media is threatening freedom of the press during “The Presidency and Freedom of the Press.” The panelists are Nicholas Goldberg, editorial page editor of the Los Angeles Times; Christina Bellantoni, director of the Annenberg Media Center at USC; and Eugene Volokh, a UCLA law professor and First Amendment scholar. KPCC radio host Larry Mantle moderates. 7:30 p.m. $10. American Jewish University, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Bel Air. (310) 440-1572.

People of the Book
Conservative Rabbi Elliot Dorff evaluates the latest developments in the Conservative movement in his new book, “Modern Conservative Judaism: Evolving Thought and Practice,” in conversation with Rabbi Matt Shapiro. After the program, signed books are available for a discounted price. 7:30 p.m. Free. Temple Beth Am, 1039 S. La Cienega Blvd. (310) 652-7353.

“Money Talks” Panel
Congregation Kol Ami Rabbi Denise Eger moderates a panel analyzing the ethics of money on the heels of the release of the book “The Sacred Exchange: Creating a Jewish Money Ethic.” The panelists are contributing authors and Rabbis Arthur Gross-Schaefer, Zoe Klein Miles, Leah Lewis and Max Chaiken. 6:30 p.m. Free. Congregation Kol Ami, 1200 N. La Brea Ave., West Hollywood. (323) 606-0996.


“Jews of China”
Having traveled throughout China, Rabbi Arnold Belzer, who is based in Savannah, Ga., discusses the little-known Jewish communities of that country. In 1985, Belzer, co-founder and president of the nondenominational Sino-Judaic Institute, conducted the first Jewish services in Kaifeng, China in 120 years. The evening includes a “Taste of China” reception and a Q&A. 6:45 p.m. reception. 7:15-9 p.m. program. $12 per person. Kehillat Israel, 16019 W. Sunset Blvd., Pacific Palisades. (310) 459-2328.

Community Fair
In honor of the month of Ramadan, join one of the largest gatherings of
Muslims and Jews in this country. NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change holds its annual community Iftar, the traditional meal that concludes each day of fasting throughout Ramadan. The evening includes dinner and dialogue for Muslims, Jews and allies. Dinner is halal certified. Kosher-certified meals upon request. 6:30-9 p.m. $45 general admission. Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills, 8844 Burton Way, Beverly Hills. (818) 856-0815.


Jeremy Gordon

“From Cromwell to Corbyn”
Rabbi Jeremy Gordon, spiritual leader of the founding synagogue of British Masorti Judaism, discusses “Jewish Life in Britain: From Cromwell to Corbyn.” He examines the history of Jews in England and addresses the contemporary challenges and opportunities facing Jewish communities in Britain and across Europe. 7:30-9 p.m. Free for Sinai members. $18 general. Sinai Temple, 10400 Wilshire Blvd. (310) 481-3228.

Lila Corwin Berman

American-Jewish Politics
Temple University history professor Lila Corwin Berman lectures on “When Politics Aren’t Political: The Depoliticization of American Jewish Politics,” examining the outcome of American-Jewish institutions removing themselves from politics. 4-6 p.m. Free. UCLA Faculty Center, 480 Charles E. Young Drive E, Los Angeles. (310) 267-5327.

Fake News in the U.S. and Israel
Five media experts and professionals discuss the phenomenon of “fake news” in a post-truth era. Anat Bilant, a media scholar at Tel Aviv University; Jane Elizabeth, managing editor of The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C.; Eytan Gilboa, director of the Center for International Communication at Bar-Ilan University; and Tim Groeling of UCLA’s Department of Communication examine what constitutes “fake news” and its impact on the media landscape, politics and democracy. Focusing on Israel and the U.S., the panel examines recent trends and challenges regarding facts and news in both countries and the role politicians, media owners, journalists and citizens play in the spread of fake news. Liron Lavi, a research fellow at the Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies at UCLA, moderates. 6-7:30 p.m. Free. UCLA Royce Hall, 10745 Dickson Court, L.A, Room 314. (310) 825-9646.

Have an event coming up? Send your information two weeks prior to the event to ryant@jewishjournal.com for consideration. For groups staging an event that requires an RSVP, please submit details about the event the week before the RSVP deadline.